In praise of simplicity.

OK, you’re going to think I’ve finally lost it (especially after the last post…)

…but can I just say how much I love clotheslines?

It’s a bit ridiculous, how something so simple, probably invented before the wheel, can be so amazing. They’re cheap AND they save you money. They hang your privacy out for the world to see AND encourage an exchange of pleasantries with your neighbours. :)

Our clothesline loaded up for Evelyn's arrival

I was a clothesline snob when I moved to Ireland – meaning, I only hung things like tea towels and the occasional t-shirt out to dry. Who wants crunchy underwear? Then, I got braver, and started to hang sheets, then towels, then Frank’s underwear. Now, I don’t care what goes on there, excluding of course any of my few nice dresses or what have you. I don’t mind drying off with a scratchy towel and the slight aroma of some from someone’s fireplace on my jammies doesn’t bother me, either.

It’s just so satisfying! I feel like I’m doing something without even having to work at it – does that make sense? I love the clip, clip, clipping of pegs on clothing as I move down the path and then the heft of the line as I pull it up to its full height, the materials flapping like sails in the wind.

You can’t get much more basic and practical Green technology than the ol’ clothesline – well, I guess you could go back to beating your laundry on rocks in a river or, geez, just go nudist for that matter. But if you’re going to live like a fairly normal human being with an environmental conscience, I’m telling you – do not fear the clothesline!

Even if you’re not the old-fashioned dork that I am, you might groove on some of the new, modern designs coming off the assembly line. Check out this one from Insitu.  They even come in different colours, like green, white and orange (no Irish flag references intended, haha).


 I’m determined that from now on, every future home I live in will have to include a clothesline, be it long, short, retractable, spinning, square, triangular, nylon or rope. Thanks to my years here in Ireland, it now seems as essential to my life as a bathtub and a fireplace.

Hopefully, if I ever move back to the States, I won’t end up in one of the truly mental places that actually puts a BAN on this invention – yes, you read me right – according to this article for Minnesota Public Radio, there is actually such a thing as anti-clothesline legislation. Good God. Some people need more to do, eh?

6 thoughts on “In praise of simplicity.

  1. Back here in the states, neighborhood associations have tried their best to ban clotheslines, however, the younger generatation (like you my dear), in an effort to be green, are pushing back. I might even look into it, if not to just bug the hell out of my neighborhood busybodies (nicer term than I use in real life).

  2. Dreaming of the day we’re neighbors and have conversations over the back fence while hanging our clothes on the line. I love that you love simplicity so.

  3. There is nothing nicer than clothes smelling fresh and sweet from a clothesline.

    I live in southern Spain in the middle of orange groves and at the moment the oranges bloom, my clothes smell like orangeblossoms…mmmmm.

    I don’t get that there are places you cannot hang clothes on the line. How weird.

  4. As Michael said, our neighborhood associations everywhere in Tucson have banned them, however my new Chinese next door neighbor hangs all her clothes out and I’m not about to complain! Perhaps I’ll join her.

  5. Pingback: 7 Links « View From an Irish Back Yard

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